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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2023 Giro d'Italia

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. - Hunter S. Thompson

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

Les Woodland's book The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories: A Five Ring Circus is available in print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Tour of Britain stage two team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Olav Kooij's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Olav Kooij has won the second stage of the Tour of Britain. The 21-year-old Dutch sprinter took his second win in a row after another strong lead-out from Wout van Aert. Kooij and Van Aert are now first and second in the general classification.

Olav Kooij wins stage two with teammate Wout van Aert celebrating.

Jos van Emden and Steven Kruijswijk ensured a four-man break got little space. Their gap never exceeded one minute, and a technical final awaited. Kooij escaped a crash in the final and managed to stay upright.

In the final kilometre, Edoardo Affini positioned Van Aert and Kooij perfectly. The Belgian put in a strong lead-out in the narrow streets of Wrexham, allowing Kooij to win after a relatively short sprint. Van Aert himself crossed the line in third.

"All the teams gave us the initiative on this short stage", Kooij said. "We put Jos and Steven in the lead to take the lead group back. We knew that the last kilometre was going to be quite twisty. It was crucial to be at the front; fortunately, we managed that. Wout accelerated on a slightly uphill section just in time, so I only had to finish it off. Now, it's a matter of resting well and preparing for the rest of the week."

The crash was also a bit of a shock for Kooij: "It's always scary to see a crash at high speed. I hope those who crashed are all right."

Kooij's victory brings Team Jumbo-Visma’s season tally to 54 wins. Kooij's tally now stands at ten.

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Here's the Tour of Britain report from Tom Pidcock's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Tom Pidcock finished ninth after a late crash marred the finale to stage two of the Tour of Britain.

The Grenadiers had combined well to keep Pidcock safe on a technical run-in to Wrexham, with every rider playing their part in the battle for position.

The high-speed crash in the final two kilometres hindered the Grenadiers' positioning, and Pidcock fought hard to bridge the gap to the front group.

Tom Pidcock descending in stage 14 of the 2023 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

The Yorkshire rider made up the gap, but was unable to move up past stage winner Olav Kooij who managed to win his second stage, with Pidcock finishing ninth on the same time as the Jumbo Visma rider.

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Team Bahrain Victorious to compete in Canadian races

Here’s the team’s update:

Bahrain Victorious travel to Canada with a strong lineup for the two one-day races: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec et de Montréal.

Pello Bilbao and Matej Mohorič, both stage winners at this year’s Tour de France, lead the lineup for Bahrain, with Jack Haig also in contention to take a good result. Alongside them, they will be supported by a young group of riders, with Nicolò Buratti, Filip Maciejuk, Fran Miholjević and Edoardo Zambanini.

Matej Mohorič wins stage two of the 2023 Tour of Poland.

“I think both races fit our leaders Matej and Pello, and both have shown good shape in recent weeks, especially Matej, who showed that in Benelux and he feels very good. Aside from them, we have a solid lineup to support the guys as we look for a victory and top result,” commented SD Enrico Poitschke

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec is the first of the two races on September 8. The 201km race is composed of 16 12.6 kilometre laps of the Québec city circuit, with a total race altitude gain of nearly 3,000 meters. Bilbao placed 12th in last year’s edition, and now, alongside Matej Mohorič, the pair will be looking for more: “Matej is highly motivated, which is why he is the leader, and then we have Pello, who also has the profile to do really well in this race. In Québec, it’s not such a challenging course. Still, it always comes down to the final kilometres with a late attack or sprint, so we will be looking to support the guys. With Matej and Pello, they can look to work together, follow attacks with one of them getting to focus on the final sprint and hopefully get a result.” continued Poitschke.

The team will take on the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal two days later. The harder of the two races, Montréal is made up of 18 12.3km laps but with a total altitude gain of over 4,800 metres. Enrico Poitschke believes the profile is better suited for Bilbao: “Montréal is the more challenging race and typically fits Pello a bit better, but Matej is in excellent shape, which is why they are both considered leaders. We are confident going into this race, where Bilbao took a top ten result last year and can challenge for more this time.”

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Team dsm-firmenich's upcoming racing

The team sent me this schedule:

Simac Ladies Tour: SEP 05 - 10

Kelvin Dekker - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"The Simac Ladies Tour will be an exciting race, especially with this line-up. Every day will have plenty of action and we are ready for every scenario. A prologue and a short TT in the first few days will shape the GC early. This goes together with two flat stages where we have Charlotte as our finisher. In the GC we will go for Pfeiffer as we are confident that she’ll be ready for the hard and hilly closing weekend of the race."

Francesca Barale (ITA)
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR)
Daniek Hengeveld (NED)
Franziska Koch (GER)
Charlotte Kool (NED)
Maeve Plouffe (AUS)
Elise Uijen (NED)

Grand Prix Cyclistes de Québec: SEP 08

Luke Roberts - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"This week we travel across to another continent for the WorldTour races in Canada. The Grand Prix Cyclistes de Québec takes place on a punchy circuit that can offer something to both the sprinters that can climb and the climbers with some punch. Québec will generally favour the faster finishers and we will aim to put Marius and Kevin in contention for the final as our finishers."

Marco Brenner (GER)
Matt Dinham (AUS)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Florian Stork (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

Andreas Leknessund time trialing in stage 9 of the 2023 Giro d'Italia. Sirotti photo

Grand Prix de Honnelles: SEP 09

Rudi Kemna - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"The Grand Prix de Honnelles will be our final race of the season in the U23 Road Series with the Dutch Food Valley Cycling Team. We had a really good season together with them and learned a lot from each other and we want to show that also in that race. The race takes place on a local circuit again and that means we need to be sharp to be competitive in the race. We have to ride together well and really focus on the basics throughout the day to be in the right place when the dangerous attacks start. If we show some good fundamentals, we can have a good closing of the season."

Mauro Brenner (GER)
Dylan Hicks (GBR)
Moritz Kärsten (GER)
Max van der Meulen (NED)

Grand Prix Cyclistes de Montréal: SEP 10

Luke Roberts - Team dsm-firmenich coach
"After the GP Québec, the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Montréal will be the second race of the Canadian double-header. The characteristics are quite similar to the race two days before, but the course in Montréal can make the race a bit more selective due to the longer climb, Matt and Kevin have shown some good form recently and this will be a race that suits them well, so we will look after them as our finishers."

Marco Brenner (GER)
Matt Dinham (AUS)
Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (NOR)
Andreas Leknessund (NOR)
Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Florian Stork (GER)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)

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